Q&A with Rowen McBride-Pilon

The 2019 In the Studio Series features the work in progress of four choreographers who participated in the Breaking Ground Mentorship Program. Today, we hear from Rowen McBride-Pilon.
GD: The theme of the 2019 GDF is “What Moves You,” can you share with us what moved you when working in the creation of disparu?
RMP: The creation of disparu originated from a place of exploration surrounding the concept of loss. After experiencing a great personal loss in my life this past year, I became extremely attentive to the ways in which people enter and exit each others lives. For some people, it is sudden and unexpected, for others it may be a slow and dreary process of detachment and for others it is simply a growing separation. When you stop and really think about it (which I have been doing quite a bit over the past few months) there are so many different ways in which people interact with others’ lives, both knowingly and unknowingly. This idea began to flourish as Teagan and I explored in studio what interpersonal relationships meant to us. We asked ourselves how we could move from being separate entities to becoming intertwined beings and then back to individuals again. To answer the question more directly, what moved me was the need for exploration and attempt at understanding. I often find myself drawn to movement and creation at times when I am unknowing. I find it helps me process my thoughts and develop new insights, just as this piece has done.

Photo by Bloom Media

GD: What were the highlights of the mentorship process for you? The challenges?
RMP: One of the biggest highlights of this process for me was being able to work with such gifted artists and movers. Lina Cruz consistently guided me through my own process and helped me to find clarity within my own ideas. She worked hard to push me out of my comfort and take risks I had never even considered. Throughout this process I gained a great deal of confidence in myself and my ideas and am excited to have shared this process with one of my best friends Teagan Ariss. Teagan helped me to visualize my thoughts through her constant support and openness. Not only did these women help me to formulate what this piece has become, but they assisted me in learning to accept the idea of process. Coming from a personal background of striving to create a finished and polished piece, I am excited to say that I really enjoyed the idea of working with patience and exploration. A big challenge for me is I often find myself overwhelmed by the immense possibilities creating has to offer. There are so many directions and meanings a developing piece could take on that sometimes I lose my original concept and become very frustrated by that. Working with the idea of process really allowed me to explore all the various avenues I had without any set expectations and restraints, giving me the opportunity to forever continue to work on and develop the ideas present in disparu.
GD: Is there anything else you would like to share with Guelph audiences before your performance?
RMP: I am very excited to share the current state of disparu with the Guelph audience and cannot wait to further my exploration of its concepts.

In the Studio takes place Saturday June 1st at 5:00 PM and Sunday June 2nd at 2:00PM at Guelph Youth Dance Studios, 42 Quebec Street.

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